This may come as a surprise to anyone not in the business of massage, but the week of Thanksgiving tends to be my busiest week of the year. Naturally, I begin my clinical rotations for nursing school this very week, but aside from that my schedule is pretty open as follows:
- Monday, November 23: 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
- Tuesday, November 24: 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
- Wednesday: November 25: 9:00 am – 9:00 pm
- Thursday: November 26: Spending the holiday with my family
- Friday, November 27: 9:00 am – 9:00 pm
- Saturday, November 28: 9:00 am – 9:00 pm
- Sunday, November 29th: 9:00 am – 9:00 pm
I want to thank all my amazing massage clients for making last week my most productive week this year. I am humbled by your loyalty and appreciate all the referral business sent my way.
You guys ROCK!!
I completed my 900-hour, 11-month advanced massage therapy course through CNI College and wanted to take a moment to rave about the school and their staff. I thought I knew everything there was to know about providing professional massage to my clients, but this extensive massage course really impressed (and challenged) me. I learned so much about anatomy, business practices, industry trends, professionalism and ethics. It not only drilled the basics (Swedish, Deep-Tissue, Sports and Chair) but also taught spa services such as hot stone, aromatherapy, body scrubs and mud treatments as well as more specialized modalities such as Trigger-Point, Infant Massage, Reflexology, Pregnancy Massage, Shiatsu, and Elderly Massage.
I recommend CNI College here in Orange County, CA to anyone looking to become a well-trained massage professional. Check out the school’s website here
The rules involving California’s voluntary certification of massage professionals and the regulations of the business throughout the state are changing due to California’s AB 1147, which is not predicted to be vetoed and therefore should become law on October 15, 2014 and effective on January 1, 2015. I’ve included a link to the entire bill here for those of you interested in the details, but let me summarize it in simple text:
- 500 hours of formal training at an accredited school and the successful passing of a test will be required to become a Certified Massage Therapist (CMT). Currently, no test is required.
- The former 250-hour Certified Massage Practitioner (CMP) is being phased out.
- Cities will be stripped of much of their power to enforce special regulations and will be limited to enforcing zoning, business licensing and health and safety concerns. In other words, cities such as Whittier will no longer be permitted to require massage professionals working in their city to register as adult entertainers.
- The current Board of Directors will be disbanded and replaced with 13 new individuals (only two of which will be massage professionals) by September 15, 2015
- The rules for determining school accreditation will be much more specific and strict.
What the bill does not clarify is when the new tests will be required, or whether certification will remain voluntary. Many people are unaware that we massage professionals are not currently required to be certified. The bill also fails to mention anything about creating a licensing board to enable the future status of Licensed Massage Therapist. While I see people with LMT listed on their business cards all the time, there is currently no such thing as a Licensed Massage Therapist in California (maybe they are referring to their drivers’ license?)
Personally, I like the direction California is going because it legitimizes the business of massage therapy. What do you think of AB 1147?
I am honored to have been able to assist at a third annual “Nurturing to Remember” event, which helps women heal from the grief of losing a baby.
The event was held this past Monday at the Pacific Edge Hotel right on the sand of Laguna Beach. It was hosted by Forever Footprints, a Costa Mesa-based nonprofit that organizes the OC Walk to Remember each year in memory of children who were lost to miscarriage, stillbirth and sudden infant death.
Five of us students from CNI College’s Massage Therapy program offered free massages during the seven-hour event to offer comfort from the stress these women are experiencing. I expected a very somber event, yet was impressed at the strength of the women I met and their ability to move forward past their pain and loss.
Deep tissue is a form of Swedish massage, but the movement is slower and the pressure is deeper and concentrated on areas of tension and pain in order to reach the sub-layer of muscles and the fascia. The massage therapist uses their fingertips, knuckles, elbows and even tools and stones to physically break down adhesions (known as “knots”) to relieve pain and restore normal range of motion.
At certain points during the massage, most people experience some discomfort and pain during deep tissue work and it is important to tell the massage therapist when things hurt and if any soreness or pain you experience is outside your comfort range. There is often some stiffness or pain after a deep tissue massage, but it should subside within a day or so.
The client is generally nude during a Swedish massage and the therapist only uncovers the part of the body being worked on at that time, a technique called draping. Your comfort is the most important part of the massage, so you are welcome to wear undergarments or even shorts if you prefer not to be nude. Continue reading
Swedish technique is the most basic of Western massage modalities and what most massage clients experience in a spa. Swedish is a relaxing, full-body massage in which your therapist uses their hands and forearms to provide long, soothing effleurage (French word meaning “to glide”) strokes to relax and warm the superficial layers of your muscles and fascia.
The client is generally nude during a Swedish massage and the therapist only uncovers the part of the body being worked on at that time, a technique called draping. Your comfort is the most important part of the massage, so you are welcome to wear undergarments or even shorts if you prefer not to be nude.
A common misconception is that Swedish has to be a light touch and that it will not help relieve tension or knots, but a surprisingly deep pressure can be applied during these gliding strokes for those preferring deeper work.
While Swedish tends to be the starting point for deeper massage work such as Trigger-Point therapy and Deep-Tissue Massage, a full session of Swedish massage is an amazing way to relax your body as well as your mind.
Thank you for allowing me to share your journey towards total wellness.
Enzo (about Enzo)
While most people get a massage to lower stress or reduce muscle aches, therapeutic massage can also:
- Decrease anxiety and fatigue
- Improve the quality of sleep
- Enhance the immune system by stimulating lymph flow
- Improve range of motion
- Ease medication dependence
- Help athletes prepare for and recover from strenuous workouts
- Nourish and improve the skin
- Improve circulation
- Release endorphins that work as the body’s natural painkiller
- Lower blood pressue
- Reduce scar tissue and stretch marks
- Ease spasms and cramping
- Reduce postsurgery adhesions and swelling
- Relieve migraine pain
I’ve witnessed variations of each of the above-listed benefits first-hand during my 16 years working as a therapeutic massage therapist. However, the most profound benefit — in my opinion — is the simplist of all: Massage makes my clients happier. The science geek in me understands this is a partially the result of increased oxytocin and decreased Adrenocorticotropin hormones and suggests you read an amazing research paper by on the subject (click here for the research paper), yet the holistic healer in me suggests you simply get a massage and see for yourself: It really works.
I wrote a research paper on Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) for massage school and am posting an abbreviated version of my findings.
CTS is a progressive peripheral entrapment of the median nerve by the transverse carpal ligament, causing sharp, shocking pain and/or numbing. Common symptoms include:
- Tingling or numbness in the thumb, 1st, 2nd, 3rd and occasionally the 4th finger.
- Pain radiating or extending from the wrist up the arm to the shoulder or down into the palm or fingers, especially after forceful or repetitive use.
- A sense of weakness in the hands and a tendency to drop objects.
- It is often difficult to identify a single cause of CTS. The Mayo Clinic (2011) reported that a combination of risk factors generally appear to contribute to the development of the condition. While these factors alone do not cause carpal tunnel syndrome, they may increase the chances of developing or aggravating the condition. These factors include:
- Anatomic factors. Wrist fracture or dislocation can alter the space within the carpal tunnel and create pressure on the median nerve. Also, it is more common in women, possibly because the carpal tunnel area is relatively smaller than in men.
- Nerve-damaging conditions. Certain chronic illnesses, such as diabetes and alcoholism, increase the risk of nerve damage, including damage to the median nerve.
- Inflammatory conditions. Illnesses that are characterized by inflammation, such as rheumatoid arthritis or an infection, can affect the tendons in the wrist and create pressure on the median nerve.
- Alterations in the balance of body fluids. Certain conditions such as pregnancy, menopause, obesity, thyroid disorders and kidney failure can affect the level of fluids in the body. Fluid retention may increase pressure within the carpal tunnel, irritating the median nerve.
- Workplace factors. Working with vibrating tools or in an assembly-line type of setting which requires prolonged or repetitive flexing of the wrist may create harmful pressure on the median nerve, or worsen existing nerve damage. The Department of Rehabilitation Staff from The Brigham & Women’s Hospital (Brigham & Women’s Hospital, 2007) points out that scientific evidence is conflicting and that workplace factors haven’t been established as direct causes of CTS. There is little evidence to support extensive computer use as a risk factor for carpal tunnel syndrome, although it may cause a different form of hand pain.
I’ve been a massage therapist for more than fifteen years and have found my clients often ask for guidance with workout routines or advice on the latest diet scams. Realizing my clients need more than just a massage therapist, I have gone back to school to expand my knowledge of human anatomy at CNI College and am also training to be a certified personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine so that I can take my massage business to the next level: BodyFIXX Total Wellness.
The BodyFIXX Mission:
We empower our clients to better themselves through the healing practices of massage therapy, personal training, nutritional guidance and goal-setting in order to help them achieve a state of total wellness.
BodyFIXX Total Wellness will officially open for business on October 1, 2014, yet the massage portion of the business has soft-launched already. This blog is designed as a resource for anyone seeking to improve their state of wellness and will include massage therapy updates, nutritional information, fitness assistance and simple recipes.